We tend to see practice as tireless repetition of the same task, where the goal is to progressively become an expert by building intuitive memory. Of course, more practice will make the difference between being good and being great, but the most efficient route to expertise is not mindless practice—it’s deliberate practice.
The talent fallacy
- Expert performance is not based on a set of intrinsic aptitudes which only some individuals possess.
- Instead of merely practicing a skill a large number of times—and blaming a lack of talent when that strategy does not result in clear improvements—deliberate practice consists in continually practicing a skill with the conscious intention of mastering it.
The promise of deliberate practice
- Deliberate practice is focused, systematic, and purposeful. It’s enhanced by active coaching to generate continuous feedback.
- Deliberate practice requires to be able to fail like a scientist in order to build a learning loop.
- Deliberate practice can be applied in any kind of challenging skill, whether intellectual or physical.
The 3 M’s of deliberate practice